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Visitor I

Estimated Taxes were missed

TurboTax advised early in the process …Not to worry…We will come back for details later…

I had a worksheet ready with key values but found I was going back to reference documents more than that sheet. Major numbers were for Federal and State Estimated Taxes. I remember passing through that section but was distracted by other issues. I went through the review but since accounting is not my field, my eyes were mostly glazed over. Otherwise it seemed to go well and I could expect good refunds from both State and Federal.

I picked it up again the next morning and was concerned on one Federal Estimated Tax payment on a “strange date.” After checking, I found it was for the prior year, so I decided to remove it. With a little difficulty I finally removed it and re-ran TurboTax. To my surprise, my federal refund INCREASED! I spent the next two hours repeating and rechecking, with the same results. After assessing what the problem had to be, I checked and there were NO Federal Estimated Taxes listed/claimed!  …contrary to assurances there were no errors.

The fault was clearly mine. I Am a rocket scientist, but this is not my field—that is why I use TurboTax. It seems that if you asked somewhere, “Did you submit Estimated Taxes”, it would have flagged my mistake avoiding a very costly error (far more serious that trying to squeeze out a few more nickel & dime deductions). I did not check my State Estimated Taxes as I was up against the deadline and wanted to focus on e-Filing, which could have been problematic. The Filing went well.

After another night of thinking about it, I thought I would check the State Estimated Taxes… and then maybe the prior year’s (2016) taxes. So the next morning I found the (obvious) answer(s) on State - Line 72 … BLANK, and then 2016 Fed- Line 65 and Line 72 State… both BLANK!

This information may be helpful to your team, as it was or would have been very costly to us (or unaware others) had I not discovered my error. It raises questions for which I will be looking for assistance or directions in finding answers, assuming I will be using the TurboTax amendment process. Some of my questions are:

  1. I assume I will use my original Turbotax (2016 and 2017) Premier Disks to add Estimated Payments for 2016 (State and Federal) and 2017 (State).
  2. If I load my original Program from disk and data from computer, will they be up to date to run or will I need to download State files again? And would any of them have to be updated? Especially prior years.
  3. I assume, since the data changed is Estimated Taxes (credits), the tax will not change, but only the way it is paid. It’s too bad it can't be restructured informally as they need a record, i.e., an amended 1040.
  4. With the Federal workload being massive at tax time, is there a best time to file an amendment, i.e., after my taxes are resolved/refunds paid? ... or before?
  5. Would the two amendments for 2016 and 2017 be coupled as one in any way, or be independent?
  6. Should I talk to a local IRS or Franchise Tax Board before refiling?